Moshe-Mordechai van Zuiden
Psychology, Medicine, Science, Politics, Oppression, Integrity, Philosophy, Jews -- For those who like their news and truths frank and sharp

Kamala Harris, you want to be president? I have one tip.

Democratic Presidential Candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks at the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority South Central Regional Conference in New Orleans, Friday, April 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)
Democratic Presidential Candidate Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., speaks at the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority South Central Regional Conference in New Orleans, Friday, April 19, 2019. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert)

Dear Kamala,

You seem to have what it takes to be the US next president.

The Democratic pack has several leaders. But you only need to do one extra thing to both win from all your contenders and from Trump.

You know how to present your case on any issue. You have stacks of answers on anything. But also: you smile. Pete Buttigieg’s skyrocketing success shows the importance of that. You even giggle a lot. Fantastic!

Crown Princess Beatrix of the Netherlands didn’t need to show by frowning that she was a person of importance. She became known (and loved!) as Princes Smile.

Now comes the litmus test on which your winning depends. You need to remember to never show any anger. You may show backbone, pride, clarity of thought, and even condemn wrongs. But all of that without a trace of anger. Even/especially when racism is discussed.

You don’t need to show anger to convince anyone that you’re against racism. You don’t need to show anger for angry Black voters to identify with you. They will. But you need to show that you can handle bigotry and humiliation with confidence, deep self-respect, and pride.

This is not because anger would not be decent or beautiful. Rather — and this is the most important reason to not go there where the anger is — anger looks for Trump fans as weakness. I know that to the self it might feel like a source of strength and that it may give energy. But typically, it comes across as powerlessness and a lack of self-confidence.

“When they go low, you go high” can’t mean to ignore insults to justice, history, and common decency. You may address it all head-on but with dignity and confidence — not with a trace of anger. Whenever you speak out sternly, have that twinkle in your eye. In your debates with Trump, everyone will notice what a lowlife he is and what a fine person you are.

Hardly anyone will notice what you say but all will hear how you say it.

Look at Buttigieg. All emotions are OK but anger. (Please, make him you VP. No one wants to miss the debate between him and the current VP!) Or Trevor Noah, with whom you had a good laugh.

For motivation, imagine that each time you show a microscopical amount of anger, Trump will get 0.5% more votes. It adds up.

Generally, as I mentioned above, you’re doing a great job already. Only, from now on you should not frown once — unless with a smile.

As you acknowledge too, at the end of the day, Trump’s outrageous promotion of racist ideas and measures, dictator cuddling, (and even Jew flattering,) are not happening because he believes such thing (he’s a non-believer in the deepest sense of the word, amoral rather than immoral), not for being a bully, and not even because it would sell to his voters but rather, in an attempt to distract us from even worse scandals, making greed work: trying to provoke wars and giving trillions of dollars extra to the super rich. Of course, we shouldn’t fall for his attention seeking and cheating or letting him dictate what we should focus on or discuss.

Why do I want you to win? I know that Pete, Joe, Elizabeth, and Bernie will each be excellent for the US People. But they could be disastrous for Israel. You won’t be any less good for the US than them but we in Israel won’t be f**ked over by you. So forgive me for wanting just you.

May the L^rd of the Universe, Who always has His eye on the Land and the People of Israel, bless and keep you and all people you care about.

About the Author
MM is a prolific and creative writer and thinker, previously a daily blog contributor to the TOI. He often makes his readers laugh, mad, or assume he's nuts—close to perfect blogging. He's proud that his analytical short comments are removed both from left-wing and right-wing news sites. None of his content is generated by the new bore on the block, AI. * As a frontier thinker, he sees things many don't yet. He's half a prophet. Half. Let's not exaggerate. Or not at all because he doesn't claim G^d talks to him. He gives him good ideas—that's all. MM doesn't believe that people observe and think in a vacuum. He, therefore, wanted a broad bio that readers interested can track a bit what (lack of) backgrounds, experiences, and educations contribute to his visions. * This year, he will prioritize getting his unpublished books published rather than just blog posts. Next year, he hopes to focus on activism against human extinction. To find less-recent posts on a subject XXX among his over 2000 archived ones, go to the right-top corner of a Times of Israel page, click on the search icon and search "zuiden, XXX". One can find a second, wilder blog, to which one may subscribe too, here: or by clicking on the globe icon next to his picture on top. * Like most of his readers, he believes in being friendly, respectful, and loyal. However, if you think those are his absolute top priorities, you might end up disappointed. His first loyalty is to the truth. He will try to stay within the limits of democratic and Jewish law, but he won't lie to support opinions or people when don't deserve that. (Yet, we all make honest mistakes, which is just fine and does not justify losing support.) He admits that he sometimes exaggerates to make a point, which could have him come across as nasty, while in actuality, he's quite a lovely person to interact with. He holds - how Dutch - that a strong opinion doesn't imply intolerance of other views. * Sometimes he's misunderstood because his wide and diverse field of vision seldomly fits any specialist's box. But that's exactly what some love about him. He has written a lot about Psychology (including Sexuality and Abuse), Medicine (including physical immortality), Science (including basic statistics), Politics (Israel, the US, and the Netherlands, Activism - more than leftwing or rightwing, he hopes to highlight reality), Oppression and Liberation (intersectionally, for young people, the elderly, non-Whites, women, workers, Jews, LGBTQIA+, foreigners and anyone else who's dehumanized or exploited), Integrity, Philosophy, Jews (Judaism, Zionism, Holocaust and Jewish Liberation), the Climate Crisis, Ecology and Veganism, Affairs from the news, or the Torah Portion of the Week, or new insights that suddenly befell him. * Chronologically, his most influential teachers are his parents, Nico (natan) van Zuiden and Betty (beisye) Nieweg, Wim Kan, Mozart, Harvey Jackins, Marshal Rosenberg, Reb Shlomo Carlebach, and, lehavdil bein chayim lechayim, Rabbi Dr. Natan Lopes Cardozo, Rav Zev Leff, and Rav Meir Lubin. This short list doesn't mean to disrespect others who taught him a lot or a little. One of his rabbis calls him Mr. Innovation [Ish haChidushim]. Yet, his originalities seem to root deeply in traditional Judaism, though they may grow in unexpected directions. In fact, he claims he's modernizing nothing. Rather, mainly basing himself on the basic Hebrew Torah text, he tries to rediscover classical Jewish thought almost lost in thousands of years of stifling Gentile domination and Jewish assimilation. (He pleads for a close reading of the Torah instead of going by rough assumptions of what it would probably mean and before fleeing to Commentaries.) This, in all aspects of life, but prominently in the areas of Free Will, Activism, Homosexuality for men, and Redemption. * He hopes that his words will inspire and inform, and disturb the comfortable and comfort the disturbed. He aims to bring a fresh perspective rather than harp on the obvious and familiar. When he can, he loves to write encyclopedic overviews. He doesn't expect his readers to agree. Rather, original minds should be disputed. In short, his main political positions are among others: anti-Trumpism, for Zionism, Intersectionality, non-violence, anti those who abuse democratic liberties, anti the fake ME peace process, for original-Orthodoxy, pro-Science, pro-Free Will, anti-blaming-the-victim, and for down-to-earth, classical optimism, and happiness. Read his blog on how he attempts to bridge any tensions between those ideas or fields. * He is a fetal survivor of the pharmaceutical industry (, born in 1953 to his parents who were Dutch-Jewish Holocaust survivors who met in the largest concentration camp in the Netherlands, Westerbork. He grew up a humble listener. It took him decades to become a speaker too, and decades more to admit to being a genius. But his humility was his to keep. And so was his honesty. Bullies and con artists almost instantaneously envy and hate him. He hopes to bring new things and not just preach to the choir. * He holds a BA in medicine (University of Amsterdam) – is half a doctor. He practices Re-evaluation Co-counseling since 1977, is not an official teacher anymore, and became a friendly, powerful therapist. He became a social activist, became religious, made Aliyah, and raised three wonderful kids. Previously, for decades, he was known to the Jerusalem Post readers as a frequent letter writer. For a couple of years, he was active in hasbara to the Dutch-speaking public. He wrote an unpublished tome about Jewish Free Will. He's a strict vegan since 2008. He's an Orthodox Jew but not a rabbi. * His writing has been made possible by an allowance for second-generation Holocaust survivors from the Netherlands. It has been his dream since he was 38 to try to make a difference by teaching through writing. He had three times 9-out-of-10 for Dutch at his high school finals but is spending his days communicating in English and Hebrew - how ironic. G-d must have a fine sense of humor. In case you wonder - yes, he is a bit dyslectic. If you're a native English speaker and wonder why you should read from people whose English is only their second language, consider the advantage of having an original peek outside of your cultural bubble. * To send any personal reaction to him, scroll to the top of the blog post and click Contact Me. * His newest books you may find here:
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